9 February 2015
It’s now accepted that learning how to paint pictures is right up there with other methods of warding off depression, social isolation and the onset of dementia, although they’re not the reasons local Whitehorse resident Russell Houghton started painting again.
“I always enjoyed drawing and was a keen painter in my teens, but once I embarked on my professional career in the finance sector, the long hours and associated stress dulled the creative process for me,” said Russell.
“It wasn’t until I retired many decades later that I again had time on my hands and while I wanted to resume painting, I needed a refresher course to bring my skills up to scratch. Initially I recommenced painting in oils and acrylic, but later moved more to watercolour.”
“Being part of the Box Hill Art Group has been fantastic for me because there’s always something new to learn and I really enjoy seeing what the other painters are up to and bouncing ideas off them. Then when I come home I can try out their techniques, styles and creative approaches for myself.”
“While I prefer to take a realist approach to my own paintings, I often introduce elements of different styles that I pick up from other painters to enhance what I’m working on.”
“The class I’m in takes a collaborative approach to creating art in varying mediums which I find extremely stimulating as it encourages freedom of expression, although we have other classes that take the more traditional tuition approach, so there’s really something for all tastes,” said Russell.
“And all of our tutors at the Box Hill Art Group are amazingly talented people so we’re learning from the best and having the time of our lives.”
Established in 1952, the Box Hill Art Group caters for beginners as well as experienced artists with four two-hour classes each week in the Box Hill Community Arts Centre, covering all styles and media such as water colour, oils, acrylic, pastel, pencil, and charcoal.
Life drawing is available and special ‘paint outs’ are also organised for painters to visit interesting locations to paint in the wild.